Alan J Porter
"Change is inevitable ..."
Wednesday 3.05pm. First may I say to those readers I’ve missed a couple of message blogs due to moving home. They say moving home is top of the stress tree. Well, I don’t have a magic wand, and wish I did, because I’ve felt like Robinson Crusoe taking five weeks in packing everything I might need on this metaphorical tropical island. It may take five weeks to put in order the packages and tools I need to feel comfortable going forward. Minutes before I started this message blog, I had a compulsion to phone a number l’d seen on Facebook about a proposed housing development in my local area. It has been a scenic setting to my town all my life, and arguments about building on this land have always caused concern. The advert proposed that 32 affordable homes would be included in a development of ninety or more homes. So what rattled my cage?
When I see the word affordability, I ask what is an affordable home, and to what income does it include? Developers try to get planning permission showing this poor white flag giving them the impression they are so benevolent in helping people who cannot dream of paying £400,000 and more for an average three bedroom home, with exactly the same footage of garden that’s not much bigger than a postage stamp. Offering local authorities affordable homes is a no brainer, if they are not nailed down with a plan that shows the price of this affordable home. I rang this company and put forward common sense questions this person could not answer. Name the incomes I said that fits into affordability, and show a plan of what you get. What about the person who may not be on a joint income of £20,000 a year, even with a partner who may be part time working with two children. They would find it impossible to save a ten percent deposit. Many people are already being ripped off with a high rent for a place that’s not fit to bring a family with children in. I could not get any answers to any of my questions. They had not even got planning permission yet and were advertising affordable houses within this scheme. Anyone who has read my previous opinions on this subject, where I’ve said developers are not the answer for building homes for the majority of working people which I include many reaching an age now of forty. Yes, I will follow this line of thinking with those who represent housing in my locality to make sure they are not going to be duped. It’s clear with the Coronavirus and the coming storm of high unemployment that there is serious change is in the air. The U.K. is not unique to a housing crisis that has existed in the U.K. this last thirty years. It’s wide spread and prevalent in every country where house prices keep rising and the young, the majority face impossible and exorbitant prices that dash their dreams of owning a decent home. I‘ve given the answers in previous message blogs, but today for me seeing the word affordability was like holding a red rag to a bull. There is no one in our present parliament who can define what income qualifies for an affordable home, nor do they have the answers how to build such homes. At the end of this blog I will write word for word of what I wrote on housing in my book I self published in 2006 NEW FOUNDATIONS, A TIME FOR CHANGE.
Those in the U.K. are still witnessing the confusion not only in the marking of exams but how children will or will not wear face masks in schools. Twenty four hours ago we heard the English Education Minister say children in England will not adhere to Scotland’s decision where children and students will wear face masks in their school. Today it was all change again we will follow Scotland and Northern Ireland. This government say they are following scientific advise, or they are following medical advisors, or they are following the donkey to the cliff edge. In life do we really listen to others, or do we follow our own feelings and add COMMON SENSE?
I remember in 2012 I was invited to a grammar school in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia to give a talk on my painting to students who could speak good English. I started and continued the talk to these students about life it’s self. One of the questions I asked, I said, Hands up how many of you are studying what your parents want you to follow, and not what you would really like to do with your life? I was surprised, but not surprised as a great number put their hands up. I said, Your parents love you, but you will find to choose a career your parents have suggested will ultimately see you at some point either being very unhappy in life or you start again choosing what you would like. I also said, it’s fallacy to believe if you take a career based only that it pays a high salary you will be happy. Wrong again. So I went through many such topics and the teachers who were listening must have thought this guy is talking about revolution. I’d like to use the word which is peaceful, EVOLUTION. To my amazement at the end of this talk every teacher was applauding and so too were students and wanting my autograph. Yes, I was amazed. Today again I’m repeating myself as we are seeing this younger generation ACCEPTING everything they are told. ACCEPTING means we ACCEPT because we believe there is no alternative way.
Now with my friend Elena in Slovakia we have completed 148 message blogs which we have placed into two books. The first 77 message blogs is being called Crossing the bridge between the past and future and the next 77 message blogs is to be called ANOTHER WAY FORWARD INTO THE FUTURE. My opinions differ from present politicians, but I like to quote ROBERT KENNEDY who often said “PEOPLE LOOK AT THE WAY THINGS ARE, AND SAY WHY ? I HAVE DREAMS THAT HAVE NEVER BEEN AND I SAY WHY NOT.” This last few days in my home I have a large photograph of both Jack Kennedy former President and his brother Robert both assassinated within five years of each other. At exactly the same time Robert was assassinated, I was on holiday in Spain and I had a vision in the very early hours of the morning of seeing a silver white cross slowly emerge from a black foreboding sky. I was so touched with Robert losing his life I wrote within a few weeks to the American Embassy and they sent me two large photographs of the brothers. I wrote beneath the photographs TWO BROTHERS WHO HAD SO MUCH TO OFFER MANKIND, WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR THEIR IDEAS, AND IT IS HOPED THEY WILL SET AN EXAMPLE TO OTHERS. Twenty five years ago I had this photograph stolen, and twelve years later I happened to go to a car boot sale, which I usually never visit. Maybe something on this day was directing me to go. Why? Because I saw someone from out of my town trying to sell it. I bought it back for £6.00. In the last few days now visibly seeing this photograph after so many years, I found myself seeing on Netflix the story of Robert Kennedy. It’s worth a watch. It showed he was a man of his time to bring great changes in helping the poor, the homeless and the injustice against so many African Americans and hispanic Americans. I’m sure we are entering into such changes now.
Look at what’s happening again in America where injustice still continues against the African American. Robert Kennedy and his brother Jack must be walking the streets of America and shouting for change. There could hopefully not be a flash point that could start extreme violence that would get out of control. Another such incident has seen an unarmed African American man shot several times in the back now paralysed from his waist down. We see people in Belarus not ACCEPTING the corruption of their government and their last election they believe was rigged. They are not ACCEPTING the brutality and beatings the police are inflicting on their young and old, who are protesting and wanting a peaceful change and new election. The people in Beirut are not ACCEPTING their country following the bombing which is now in devastation in having the same continuing corrupt government. Change is inevitable as the Coronavirus is seeing to that. We are having to change our life style in so many ways. But this big change of how we live our lives as happened before to our parents or to your grandparents who faced nearly six years of war. We are going have to adapt, but not forgetting the plight of those where the Coronavisrus is already hurting. Not just lose of life, but those who are seeing newly formed businesses close at great financial risk. People who are fearful of not being able to pay rents or mortgages. This side of change is not being fully reflected or reported where stress, depression and suicide could be on the increase. We must have hope that change will come with a vaccine cure that will bring a better tomorrow.
I heard today on the radio that the Prime Minister will resign in six months due to continuing ill health affects of the Coronavirus. Of course he’s denied it. But I predicted before the virus, he would not see two years in office due to ill health. The following extract on housing is from my book New Foundations a time for change, I wrote in 2006:
Addressing the housing problem is probably one of the most important issues facing us. Providing comfortable homes for the young at affordable prices is paramount to solving so many of today’s self-made problems. The answer is changing the culture that a home is about making money; this is not so. We need to take the financial profit out of building houses. The purpose of a home is to provide the necessary facilities that enable a person, or family, to live in a happy and harmonious environment. This allows the family unit to create a better life for all. The profit is then found in society as less homes experience break-up etc.
We need to build homes that can be constructed in weeks and days, built in sections of materials that could even give the impression that it was built with bricks. This is not only feasible and practical; it is not even a new idea.
Land could be acquired that would not have this idea of profit attached to it, and the government could be the source to provide the money at affordable loans over a lifetime. People could still move and exchanges could be made. However, the idea of profiting out of someone else’s misfortune of not having a home will finish.
Once this plan is put into action we would see a dramatic change in house prices. Today’s market is fuelling the crisis, which is motivating so many of our young to move abroad purely because homes are cheaper.
Change is required now. We are already at the time of two minutes to midnight; there is not much time left to avoid and stop the present meltdown of our society.